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Practical Information for Florida Environmental Professionals

News Update

Feds look at renewable energy potential at former contaminated sites

Staff report

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are evaluating the feasibility of developing renewable energy production on Superfund, brownfields and former landfill or mining sites.

As part of the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, EPA is investing approximately $1 million for projects across the country aiming to revitalize abandoned sites while protecting people’s health, the environment and providing economic benefits to local communities, including job creation.

Projects will analyze the potential development of wind, solar, biomass and geothermal at 26 sites. The analysis will determine the best renewable energy technology for the site, the optimal location for placement of the renewable energy technology on the site, potential energy generating capacity, the return on the investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects.

None of the sites are locared in Florida. The 26 sites are in Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, California, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington.

Some of the sites under consideration for renewable energy projects have completed cleanup activities, while others may be in various stages of assessment or cleanup. Renewable energy projects on the sites will be designed to accommodate the site conditions.

In September 2008, EPA launched the RE-Powering America’s Land initiative to encourage development of renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mining sites. EPA partnered with NREL to do an initial screening to determine sites that may be used for renewable energy projects.

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